Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Healthy Eating Starts With Healthy Shopping

Healthy eating starts with having healthy foods at home.
Cooking up healthy meals is a challenge if you don't have the right ingredients in your kitchen. With the many available options, making healthy choices can be very challenging.
But who has time to read all the food labels and figure out which items are the healthiest, most nutritious and the best buys? Healthy shopping can be an overwhelming work because of the giant availability.

"Markets perform a great public service, but keep in mind they are designed to get you to buy (and, therefore, eat) more food, not less," says Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, professor of nutrition at New York University and author of What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating.

Ø  Have a plan! Create a weekly meal plan.
Ø  Make a list! Use your meal plan to make a grocery shopping list.
Ø  Stick to it! Use your shopping list and stick to it at the grocery store.

Here's What to Include on Your Healthy Grocery List
  1. Fresh vegetables and fruits should make up the largest part of your list. Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Choose plenty of dark green and orange vegetables like broccoli, spinach, sweet potato and squash. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables packed in water or natural juice are as nutritious as fresh.
  2. Grains and Cereals should mostly be made from whole grains, not from refined flours. Whole grains are important for vitamins, minerals, and for fiber, which is often lacking in modern diets. Look for the words "whole grain whole wheat flour", whole rye, whole oat or oatmeal, whole corn, whole barley, etc., at the beginning of the ingredient list on packaged grain products and choose grain products that are low in fat, sugar and salt.
  3. Protein and meat choices should be mostly fish, poultry and lean meats. Buy leaner meats and enjoy alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often. If you like luncheon meats, sausages and prepackaged meats, choose those that are lower in salt and fat (turkey). Eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes are also good protein choices. Avoid breaded, deep-fried convenience foods that you put in the oven (nuggets, breaded shrimps…) they are high in fat and sodium.
  4. Beverage choices should be simple à good choices are: Water, low-fat milk, juices and herbal. Keep in mind that food and beverages that are high in calories, fat, sugar and salt, so if you want to buy soft drinks, choose the diet to avoid extra sugar.
  5. Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D. It should include low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. If you do not want cows' milk, choose soy and rice beverages, calcium-fortified orange juice, or goats' milks and cheese. Compare the Nutrition Facts table on packaged foods to help you select lower fat milk alternatives like low fat yogurt and cheeses.
  6. Frozen & Canned foods are a convenient way to keep some food on hand. Read labels and chose frozen foods wisely. Choose low-sodium soups, vegetables and sauces. Stay away from high-fat gravies and high-calorie foods like canned spaghetti and ravioli products.
·         Nutrition.about.com
·         www.eatrightontario.ca
·         www.kidshealth.org

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